Real Life Apps® – Use a mobile app to get your gym in shape.

Real Life Apps® – Use a mobile app to get your gym in shape.

It’s that time of year.  The annual surge in fitness club and gym usage (and new memberships) resulting from all those resolutions.  From coast to coast, masses head to the gym in January.  Regular members feel a bit crowded.  New members sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed.  Monica Hesse of the Washington Post may have described this scene best in a soon-to-be classic piece describing “The Attack of the Resolutionaries” that happens every January.

If you operate a fitness club, your mission is to keep your regulars happy and to keep the new members from disappearing when the excitement of the New Year wears off.  Like everybody else, you probably offer state-of-the-art equipment, personal trainers, yoga and pilates classes, and maybe even nutritional counseling (the number one planned addition for 2011 according to Recreation Management.  Does your club have a mobile app?  If not, you might be wondering what a mobile app could do for your gym.  Providing general information about your club (location, hours, telephone numbers, etc.) is obvious.  Here are some other possibilities:

  • Allow members to reserve space in group classes.  How frustrating is it to show up for that spin class, only to find every bike is taken?  What if members could reserve spots using your mobile app?
  • Provide nutritional information.  Most people interested in fitness are also interested in nutrition – no doubt that’s why nutritional counseling is so hot.  If you have a smoothie bar, you can post all the nutritional info for your smoothies in your app.  Push healthy recipes to your members.
  • Stream workout information.  Give your members access to audio tracks of workouts or a library of instructional videos.  If you have a fitness blog (and you should), get an app with an RSS feed to publish your content to your members’ mobile devices.
  • e-commerce.  Want to sell workout clothing (including your branded items)?  How about providing an easy portal for members to pay for value added services?  A custom app could include a secure e-commerce feature.
  • Track fitness goals.  Your members can track their weight using your app, which could calculate BMI and provide feedback on workout goals in the form of graphs, charts, and other visuals.

Adding new machines or popular class instructors can increase client acquisition and retention.  So can custom mobile apps for fitness clubs.  Got an app idea for a club?  Leave a comment and let us hear about it.

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